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New Research from Milestone Inc. Shows Rich Media Visibility in SERPs Vary by Industry

Rich Media Plays Major Role in All Industry SERPs

Rich media and rich results in the SERPs are significant entities and points of entry for discovery in the customer journey.

SANTA CLARA, CA, UNITED STATES, December 13, 2021 / -- These rich media in the SERPs create visibility, increase the share of space in the SERP, and lead to increased traffic. There are more than 100 rich media elements and 100s of combinations of elements that make up the modern Google SERPs, which is the largest source of traffic for most websites.
Rich media usually take more effort to create, but sites that do create it and mark it up effectively with structured data face less competition in those media categories and are able to increase visibility and traffic.

Methodology and Data Collection
Milestone Inc set out to understand the trends of the top rich media in the SERPs and to figure out if there were differences in appearance by industry.
The dataset covers a cross-section of industries: Healthcare, Hotels, Insurance, Restaurants, Food, Security, Retail, and FinServ, covering 420 companies, typically the largest in the industry, and billions of visits over 12 months from October 2020 to September 2021. The data was sourced from SEMrush.
These charts represent the proportional frequency of inclusion of these major elements in the SERPs and are not exclusive, meaning that SERPs can contain multiple elements and therefore contribute more than one element to the mix and count from one SERP observation.

Overview of Findings
1. Rich results proportions vary dramatically by industry.
2. Rich results visibility generally follows E-A-T guidelines:
• Reviews growing in most industries (Trust)
FAQs and People Also Ask also growing (Authority)
• Significant gains were seen in the Knowledge Panel and Site Links visibility (Expertise)
3. Industries that are likely to be more knowledge-seeking saw larger gains in FAQs and People Also Ask.

Download Research Report: Rich Media Plays Major Role in All Industry SERPs

Cross-industry findings:
Three categories are driven by question content with 38.4% representation: 1) FAQs, 2) People Also Ask, 3) Rich Snippets. Milestone finds that question content is very aligned with the fundamental purpose of search engines providing answers to search queries. Reviews had significant visibility, showing up in 32% of SERPs in September 2021. Image Pack shows a declining trend throughout the year, dropping from 20% to 12% in September. Other elements are relatively stable throughout the observation period.

Hotel SERPs Have Very High Question Content Visibility
The question content elements have a very high representation in the hotel industry with 38.3% of SERPs. FAQs at 19.9% are more visible than People Also Ask at 18.4%, which is unique among industries studied. This underscores the tremendous opportunity for hotels to identify and answer the specific questions people are asking about their properties and more generally about the area and attractions surrounding their properties.

It also shows a growing trend for Site Links, which allow for deep links below the main SERP listing show significant growth 14.5% to 23.3% or 60% growth during the observation period. SERPs in this industry favor Image Pack over individual images.
Financial Services SERPs Have High Question Content and Local Visibility

The question content elements have a very high representation in the finserv industry with 48.2% of SERPs. FAQs at 10.9% are less visible than People Also Ask at 23.7% and Rich Snippets at 3.9%, which suggests the search engine is working to answer more information-seeking and generic knowledge questions. Finserv providers should address both generic and specific branded questions.

It also shows strong visibility for the Local Pack, so finserv companies should optimize and complete Google My Business for each location.
Healthcare SERPs Have High Question Content and Local Visibility

The dominance of the Reviews element is striking and somewhat surprising. 41% of healthcare SERPs include Reviews or Rating stars. People Also Ask is also very visible at 25%. Healthcare providers need to actively manage reviews and ratings of facilities and doctors as the elements are highly visible in SERPs.

Erik Newton
Milestone Inc.
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